Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:
Accel Partners looks Eastward. The Silicon Valley venture capital firm that caught fire after an early bet on Facebook is opening up an outpost in Manhattan. Jim Breyer, a partner at the firm, tells The New York Times why: "We believe that social, mobile and commerce applications, where the entrepreneurs are based in New York, are going to be central to what we're doing." Indeed, Accel has added 15 New York start-ups to its roster over the past three years, including such heavyweights as Etsy and Quidsi, the parent firm of Diapers.com. Breyer even compared New York's vibrant start-up scene to China, where Accel has made more than $1.5 billion in investments.
LivingSocial expands internationally. Group-coupon start-up LivingSocial agreed to purchase a majority stake in Europe's Let's Bonus, giving it a presence in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Argentina and Mexico, TechCrunch reports. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Washington, D.C. company now boasts more than 16 million subscribers, operates in 10 countries, reaches more than 170 markets, and is projected to book in excess of $500 million in revenue in 2011. LivingSocial, whose founders Tim O'Shaughnessy and Eddie Frederick were Inc. 30 under 30 honorees in 2010, has been aggressively expanding through acquisitions to keep pace with rival Groupon, which has been employing a similar strategy. Last year LivingSocial bought Urban Escapes and Australia's Jump On It.
Finding a new market in... cats? Jacob D'Aniello's aptly-named dog waste removal business, DoodyCalls, was chugging along just fine when he realized he could add an entirely new customer base: cat owners. The Wall Street Journal reports that "for entrepreneurs, pet-waste services has become an attractive niche because of the low overhead costs," and that until now, cat owners have been pretty much neglected. DoodyCalls expanded its services to include cleaning litter boxes and filling them with fresh litter. Of the cat-owner market, Mr. D'Aniello says "There is such a huge growth opportunity."
Swallowing a tough pill. Every now and then, your business is going to need to take some "constructive criticism." But accepting that advice can be pretty hard, says New York Times small business columnist Paul Downs. You'll probably go through five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance. But once you get to the acceptance part, Downs says, that's where the real work begins. Implementing and adopting the advice may not always run smoothly.
Chatroulette laid bare. Debuting last year to an eager crowd of vestiphobes and adolescent boys, Chatroulette's voyeurship has tanked about 60 percent since its peak last summer. Though investors are running scared, the nude males that still frequent the site are propping it up. Founder Andrey Ternovskiy tells Fast Company that when a Chatroulette member exposes his... nether regions onscreen, he is immediately kicked off Chatroulette and transfered to a partner site. Those referrals net Chatroulette a cool $100,000 per month in revenue. Who says that inappropriate behavior doesn't pay?
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